Parish Nature Notes for October - John Wright

As expected in October some days were mild and sunny, others cool and cloudy but in addition there were periods of torrential rain and also cold sunny days accompanied by icy winds from the north. Autumn colours started to develop on some deciduous trees and a bewildering variety of fungi appeared as if by magic.

Fly Agaric

Project celebration and booklet launch

The project comes to an end in December, and we are holding a celebration event on Saturday 20 October, 2-5pm, at Sandford Middle School. The afternoon will begin with a drama production by pupils of Sandford Primary School. The play, The History of Sandford School, tells the story of the first hundred years of the school. It was written by a former head teacher, Jane Johnson, and first performed in the 1980s. José Hedley and Judith Bowie, former teachers at the school, will be producing it.

Parish Nature Notes for August - John Wright

August could hardly be described as settled, but amongst the cloudy and wet days there were also a reasonable number of sunny days to enjoy. The diversity of plants to be found within our parish still continues to surprise me and the total number found in 2011/2012 now exceeds 700 species, of which 650 have been seen this year.

Osprey with fish

Parish Nature Notes for June - John Wright

The Met Office tell us that June was the wettest on record and this follows a sequence of months with unexpected twists and turns in the weather. Nevertheless, our wildlife responds to each season as best it can and somehow juvenile birds appear, butterflies take flight whenever the sun breaks through and this month many plants have extended their flowering period instead of shrivelling up in the heat. Other committments early in the month and a holiday in the second half of June mean that my notes are more limited in coverage than normal.

Silver-studded Blue

Parish Nature Notes for May - John Wright

May is always an exciting month to observe wildlife and the exceptional rains of April and early May, followed by hot dry weather later in the month have produced some lush vegetation and a wide range of wild flowers. In addition, birds are nesting and rearing young and increasing numbers of spring butterflies and dragonflies are on the wing.

Beautiful Demoiselle


How the use of the name Sandford has evolved.

The first written record of the name Sandford is in relation to Sandford Bridge and dates from 1597. The first consistent use of the name on maps for anything else dates from around 1800, and applied to the area west of the bridge and centred on Sandford Farm, which was sited where Sandford Lane Industrial Estate now is. The earliest record so far of the use of Sandford for an area within the present village dates from 1855. This use became firmly established through the naming of Sandford Pottery, Sandford Terrace and Sandford House soon afterwards. The focus remained around the pottery until housing developments that began in the 1930s shifted it eastwards to its present location.

Location of Sandford in 1800